Traditional fortés such as food packing and cork design are enjoying a very contemporary-looking renaissance, while smart rural retreats and a hi-tech research centre are further signs Portugal has its eyes firmly on the future.
Embedded in the landscape and clad in local burnt shale, a new extension brings a contemporary flavor to a historic Douro valley winery. The Douro valley wineries of Portugal are renowned the world over for the quality of their oenological offerings, but Quinta do Vallado now ranks highly in the architectural stakes too. Porto based practice Guedes + DeCampos was asked to create an extension to the winery, which dates back to the winery, which dates back to 1716, to be integrated into landscape as much as possible, while providing scape for a fermentation warehouse, a hogshead warehouse and a reception. The resulting long and low volume is semi-embedded in the vineyard’s cascading terraces. The building’s clean and contemporary linear exterior geometry, coasted with local burnt shale for added texture, houses an arched interior, a shape that allows better insulation. An infrastructure tunnel and natural ventilation system complete the package.
Chocolateria Equador in one delicious destination. Opended by graphic designer Celestino Fonseca and artist Teresa Almeida, the stylish Porto boutique, which references the cacao warehouses of Portugal’s old african plantations in its industrial-tinged décor, specialists in all things sweet. It’s handmade wares include large chocolate bars wrapped in beautiful paper and delicately painted ganaches in flavours such as passion fruit and green tea, as well as exquisitely formed cakes, macaroons and truffles, all made using the finest ingredients.
3. JOÃO BRUNO VIDEIRA
In rural Alentejo, under the moniker Água de Prata, former TV journalist João Bruno Videira uses traditional weaving techniques to create bold, contemporary furniture, such as kaleidoscopic pouffes, made from wool and recycled tyres.
Guimarães, a mediaval city known as the cradle of the Portuguese nation, will become one of the two 2012 European Capitals of Culture. Its main artistic hubs are the the Centro Cultural Vila Flor, a cultural center set in an 18th-century palace, and Laboratório das Artes. Stay at the five-stars Pousada de Santa Marinha, a former monastery, and dine at Histórico surrounded by Roman walls.
5. CASA DO CONTO
Casa do Conto ia a new boutique hotel located in Porto’s emerginhg Cedofeita district. Behind its ornate 19th-century façade, the accommodation comprises six thoroughly modern, light-filled rooms, individually modern, light-filled rooms, individually designed by architects collective Pedra Líquida and furnished with vintage finds. Cada do Conto’s owners Alaxandra and Nuno Grande collaborates with local galleries to organises cultural events throughout the year.
A one-time private residence in Porto’s Baixa district has been revamped with midcentury modern furniture, mixing Scandinavian pieces with traditional Portuguese café items, to give the relaxed ground-floor restaurant an intimate, retro feel.
7. SCIENCE CENTRE
Designed by Indian architect Charles Correa, Lisbon’ Champalimaud Centre for the unknown is the new HQ of the foundation dedicated to cutting-edge neuroscience and cancer research. It is located on 60,000 sq m waterfront site from where 16th-century Portuguese navigators set sail to discover the world. Composed of two volumes – one houses the research facilities, the other an auditorium – linked by a glass bridge, the building is surrounded by landscape gardens, an open-air amphitheater and a waterfront promenade accessible to all.
8. ESPAÇO B
Conceptual and avant-garde, Espaço B reflects the taste and style of its founders Leonor Barata and José Luis Barbosa. Flooded with light thanks to dramatic arched widows, the spacious boutique stocks designer objects, jewelry, whaches, books and perfumes, as well as local and international fashion lables, from Pé de Chumbo to Comme des Garçons.